Quickie Review: New Super Luigi U
Part of a noble effort to celebrate the anniversary of Mario’s oft forgotten green sibling, Nintendo launched a few games under the Year of Luigi banner and promoted several other existing titles that happened to feature the charming coward. Basically a DLC expansion pack for New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U re-purposed its big brother’s world map and powers, while offering a new, challenging take on Mario’s latest outing.
The game offers up over 80 bite-sized levels built around Luigi’s floaty, more challenging jump mechanics. Players are given 100 seconds (down from 400) to make their way through these creative, hellish lands, with plenty of enemies and other obstacles thrown in for good measure. It’s as bright and colorful as you would expect from its source material, and it borrows all of the music, sound effects, and aesthetics from its predecessor, making for a familiar outing for New Super Mario Bros. U veterans.
The new levels can at times be a real joy to play through and I had fun more often than not, but they’re just too short. There were a great many of them that I blasted through in well under 30 seconds, and it was quite rare for me to see the clock dip below the 50 second mark. The significantly increased challenge certainly upped the time required to get through some courses, though it never took more than a few attempts to master the levels’ layouts.
All together, I’d be shocked if there was 2 hours of genuine gameplay to be had here. This strikes me as a little too light to justify its $20 ($30 for the retail version) price tag. Way fewer, much longer levels instead of the tiny maps on display here would have benefited this game greatly, as all of the fun levels are over way too quickly for players to take any real satisfaction from them. Of course, there are collectibles to search for in the levels to justify repeat playthroughs, but I doubt many gamers would feel compelled to do so.
In the end, New Super Luigi U is an odd little experiment. On one hand, it does a commendable job of re-skinning its fantastic sibling and upping the challenge immensely for “hardcore” gamers. On the other, it’s over way too quickly for those who enjoy those challenges to really sink their teeth into. It’s difficult to recommend a purchase with this one due to its immense lack of value, though it’s almost fun enough to not feel like a total rip off.